Monday, October 10, 2016

This is Living?

"Hey, sorry I kept you waiting, you kind of caught me at a bad time. You know, this novel isn't going to write itself."
Resisting the urge to yell at the small, chubby Asian man, the reporter nods back. Did he keep her waiting for fifteen minutes to work on a novel he could work on literally any time he wanted to? She breathes in deeply. The man smiles widely.
"Get in, get out," she says to herself. There is no way this guy is getting into Southern Living anyways. This interview is pointless, she thinks to herself. Unless he's some famous author she'd never heard of. Just because she's a writer doesn't mean she reads. From what the living room of the apartment is telling her though, this is not the case. A cardboard cutout of Darth Maul from Star Wars: The Phantom Menace sitting in the corner of a living room doesn't exactly scream literary. 
The reporter introduces herself. "Nice to meet you," responds the man. "I'm Munny Pang. Spelled M-U-N-N-Y. By the way, in case you were interested Munny is a Cambodian name that means smart."
By the way, the reporter wasn't interested.
"Thanks for stopping by The Victorian!" continues Munny. "It makes me happy you guys are writing about this. The Victorian usually doesn't get much attention, but I think it's a fine place to live."
The reporter smiles and nods. There doesn't seem to be any sarcasm in his voice. "You think so?" asks the reporter.
"I mean it's a bit rough around the edges, but it could be a lot worse. I enjoy the people here too. Have you met our concierge Ms. Davis?"
The reporter thinks back to the cranky curmudgeon that yelled at her for taking a candy from a bowl on her desk. That concierge?
"Oh, you must have seen her, she's the only concierge for our apartment building. I always looking forward to seeing her face. She's not the classic concierge but ultimately she's one of the constants in the Victorian and she always does her job."
Yes, that concierge. Wow, still no sarcasm. He looks forward to seeing her, even out of constancy? From what the reporter can tell the only thing constant about her is her rottenness. The reporter doesn't understand The Victorian at all. This apartment was in a "town making a comeback?" How? Last night she had the worst Taco in her life down the street at the creatively named "Los Tacos." She shakes her head. She thinks to herself this interview is pointless.
"What do you write?" asks the reporter. She figures she'll have an excuse to not interview Munny
if he ends up not being a literary figure of some importance.
Munny's eyes light up as if this is the first time anyone has ever expressed interest in his writing. "Thank you for asking!" he exclaims. "It's nice to talk about writing to a fellow writer. This is so exciting! Thanks for my making my day! Anyhow, I publish fantasy novels. You've probably never heard of the Bala Chonicles, have you?"
The reporter starts walking backwards. This guy is not worth any of her time.
"Anyhow, I try to enjoy writing as a side-gig, but I still dream of being able to make writing pay the bills full time. It's really something I love, it's why I get up in the morning, even if it's not with fiction. Heck I hate politics, but for the chance to be a writer I would even-"
The reporter closes the door on Munny and dashes away from his apartment. What a waste of time she thinks to herself. As the reporter fabricates an uninteresting interview she reflects on how she hates her job. She longs for the chance to write about something important, or better yet to write something important. She hardly considers this hellhole of an apartment complex worth even fabricating an interview. "God please help me," she thinks to herself.
Munny is still shocked and confused that the reporter walked out on him. He begins to think that she thought of him as such a waste of energy she didn't even bother to start an interview, but he  decides to dismisses this notion; it was probably an emergency. Munny sits back down on his couch. He wraps his arm around the Darth Maul cutout. He tries to smile. He begins to cry.

1 comment:

  1. "The Brahmin's Son"
    “’You will go into the forest,’ he said, ‘and become a Samana. If you find bliss in the forest, come back and teach it to me. If you find disillusionment, come back, and we shall again offer sacrifices to the gods together. Now go, kiss your mother and tell her where you are going. For me, however, it is time to go to the river and perform the first ablution.’” Siddhartha, Herman Hesse

    She told the building owner that a resident destroyed doors and put bullet holes is several walls. She made Harvey replace and spackle. She wandered the halls, checking his work, complaining when he missed a spot or spent too much on the doors.

    “I thought that new doors would help freshen-up the place.” She only grunted at his point.

    Now, as she sat in front of her storage closet that sat behind her desk, she took a deep breath and sighed. Residents had complained at first, yelled at her second, and threatened to move out third. She only glared at them and didn’t utter a word. No point, really, no water means, no water. But she wasn’t without her own. After years here she’d learned to prepare for the worst. The storage closet had only one key and it was around her neck.

    Now, Munny stood in front of her, like Siddhartha waiting for his father to release him. A slight smile and clear eyes made “Ms. Ellen,” he called her, shift uncomfortably in her chair. She liked her chair. She’d spent months looking in thrift stores for one. Now it and everything else felt displaced under the gaze of Munny Pang. His slight build and stillness made her think he was an illusion, perhaps a specter. She felt a slight tightness in her chest.

    “Ms. Ellen,” He spoke first.
    “No.” She said.
    He pulled out a twenty-dollar bill and placed it on top of the detridus on her desk. It was crisp, clean and brand new.
    “No.” She repeated.
    “Ms. Ellen, I’ve never missed a payment and never been a problem.”
    “You know it’s temporary, and I haven’t enough to make tea. I don’t need much.”
    She finally met his gaze. “Fine.” She fished out a half empty Crystal Springs bottle from the top drawer and tossed it at him.
    He smiled deeply. “I knew you cared.” He said. He turned and walked away.

    She sighed, and quickly reached for the twenty.